Nagaland Disaster Report urges immediate action and planning

Nagaland disaster report urges immediate action and planning

Nagaland’s first-ever Disaster Statistics report, released by the Directorate of Economic and Statistics, has shed light on the state’s susceptibility to natural disasters and their impact on homes and healthcare facilities.

The report, titled “Nagaland Disaster Statistics 2023,” underscores the urgent need for robust disaster management strategies to safeguard critical infrastructure from the unpredictable forces of nature.

Damage to Homes and Healthcare Facilities

The report reveals a grim reality, highlighting that between 2019 and 2022, a total of 55 houses were damaged due to various natural calamities. Landslides emerged as the primary culprit, accounting for 37 cases, followed by storms (6 cases), floods (2 cases), and fire (1 case).

The healthcare sector also suffered, with two Community Health Centres experiencing partial damage due to flooding and landslides in 2019-20, and one hospital and three Community Health Centres facing similar fate in 2020-21.

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Impact on Agricultural Land

Apart from structural damage, the report emphasises the impact of animal attacks on agricultural land. In 2019-20, a herd of elephants destroyed 9.88 acres of rubber plantation in Zunheboto district, highlighting the need for proactive measures to mitigate such occurrences and maintain a delicate balance between human endeavours and wildlife coexistence.

Pest attacks and diseases have also taken a significant toll on Nagaland’s agricultural sector. The Department of Horticulture reported that between 2019 and 2022, over 2,700 acres of horticultural land were affected, with Dimapur district consistently reporting the highest level of damage.

Crops such as pineapple, banana, dragon fruit, lemon, king chilli, turmeric, ginger, large cardamom, and various vegetables bore the brunt of the damage. The Department of Agriculture further revealed that in 2020-21, pest infestation impacted a staggering 49,448.85 hectares of agricultural land, with Wokha and Mon districts being the most severely affected.

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Outbreaks of Water-borne and Vector-borne Epidemics

The report also sheds light on the recurring outbreaks of water-borne and vector-borne epidemics in the state. The most common biological disasters include Diarrhoea, Dysentery, Malaria, Dengue, Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES)/Japanese Encephalitis, and Scrub Typhus. In 2019-20, Dimapur district reported the highest number of incidents, while Mon district recorded the most cases in 2020-21.

Increasing Frequency of Pest Attacks

The Nagaland State Disaster Management Authority (NSDMA) data further highlights the increasing frequency of pest attacks. In 2018-19, 77 incidents were reported, with Wokha district accounting for the maximum number of cases (15), followed by Longleng (14) and Mon and Peren districts (12 each).

The number of incidents surged to 194 in 2019-20, with Mokokchung and Longleng districts reporting 43 cases each, and Wokha district recording 26 incidents. In 2020-21, 160 incidents were reported, with Wokha (37), Tuensang (29), and Longleng (27) districts being the most affected.

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A Call for Action

The “Nagaland Disaster Statistics 2023” report serves as a wake-up call for the state government and relevant stakeholders to prioritise disaster management and implement effective strategies to mitigate the impact of natural calamities. The findings emphasise the urgent need for comprehensive measures to safeguard lives, livelihoods, and critical infrastructure.

As Nagaland grapples with the challenges posed by natural disasters, epidemics, and pest attacks, it is imperative for the state to develop a robust and resilient disaster management framework.

This should include strengthening early warning systems, enhancing emergency response capabilities, promoting sustainable agricultural practices, and ensuring the safety of residential and healthcare infrastructure.

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The release of this groundbreaking report marks a significant step towards understanding the vulnerabilities faced by Nagaland and provides a foundation for developing targeted interventions.

By prioritising disaster preparedness and investing in comprehensive safety strategies, Nagaland can build a more resilient future for its citizens and protect its vital assets from the devastating impact of natural calamities.

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